To a large extent I agree. When I was 15, I looked wistfully at the Hakko 936 (NOT the far inferior offshored 888 or Aoyue clone) and ended up at Tandy^H^H^H^H Radio Shack, buying a hot stick from the very back of the store where they kept the things that they weren't really sure what to do with anymore.
Over the years, I've purchased a lot of tools, for constructing electronics, machining, plastic extrusion, smashing things (my favorite, to be honest), etc. and in the particular case of soldering, what i've found is that, although i now have every bizarre type of specialty tool one can find, including a number I've made myself, 90% of my work can be and is done with a simple fixed temperature iron: the cl1481.
Similarly, I have a Hakko 808D self-contained desoldering gun which costs no less than 12x the cost of the Soldapullt contained in this kit (and that's without the tips that are constantly clogging, the disposable prefilters, filters and chambers), and I still use a Soldapullt for 90% of my desoldering tasks.
Finally, my Larsen hand tools literally caused me to give away pretty much all of the rest of my cutters and pliers. They are completely unparalleled. Prior to discovering the joy of Swedish hand tools, I bought a large number of Wiha's various lines. As it turned out, the few of those tools that were actually made in Germany are the only ones that I still use, and even then, they are starting to show their age in ways that are unrepairable.
During that same period, I've abused my Larsens in the most ridiculous ways you can imagine. Once, after chewing through stainless steel air conditioning hard-line in my car with ia 955 series Larsen cutter (recommended for up to 16ga soft copper wire!), I left it on top of my engine, and then, in my infinite wisdom, I started the car and went for a test drive.
After tooling around for a few miles to make sure the AC compressor wouldn't lock up on me, I came back to the garage, opened my hood and "OH MY GOD, THAT IS A VERY VERY HOT PAIR OF CUTTERS OW OW OW OW" etc.
I still use that tool daily, and have resharpened it after cutting things that, frankly, it just shouldn't, about half a dozen times. Despite being heated to 3-400F, the hinge is still perfectly smooth, and it still cuts things that, well, i shouldn't cut with it. In my lifetime, I've probably chewed through and tossed out a couple dozen pairs of cheaper snippers, adding up to 4 or 5 times the cost of the Larsen _easily_.
Again, are these the only tools in the world? no. Do I swear by these tools as the ones I use day in and day out and recommend as highly as possible as an introductory kit that you will be able to rely on to perform flawlessly for the rest of your life? absolutely.